It was a time, he said, when reality caught up with the fantasies, and it felt a little like taking a virginity. For him it was no surprise, even though the bigger picture wasn't entirely clear to him yet. He had already seen those scars and bruises underneath the pretty surface and was only happy to see the walls finally crumble around him.
It was of course many years later that he fully understood what had actually happened and why, which is also true for myself. I loved to listen to his stories, but for me they were just that: stories. His early life and childhood was so distant and vague, to me he was simply my father, living in LA with my mother and me. His past and the society he grew up in seemed like a dream, and sometimes like a really bad one. Now I know he didn't exaggerate and never whitewashed anything to protect me, and that still frightens me.
For the longest of time he thought that the crisis unfolding everywhere around him wouldn't affect his family, but it soon would, to an extend he could never have dreamed of.